In an age where buyers are bombarded
with advertising and sales propositions,
traditional marketing techniques are being
increasingly filtered out and cutting
through the noise is hard to do. Buyers
are more self-sufficient in searching out
information through the channels they
choose and they are more selective about
the content they are willing to consume.
Ultimately, content marketing is a sales
tool designed to deliver better quality leads.
The focus is on helping the customer to
choose us, rather than pushing what we
have to sell onto them.
Organisational goals for content marketing
Content marketing is a way to connect with
prospects and customers on their terms – we
give them valuable information that helps to
solve their current challenges, and in return
they become more engaged and move deeper
into the sales funnel.
Don’t just take our word for it; the 2013
‘State of B2B Content Marketing in the
UK report found that on average 29%
of marketing budget is being spent on
content marketing by B2B brands.
See the graph for why B2B marketers
are turning to content marketing in 2013.
Buyers have changed the game and we have
Source: Content Marketing Institute, B2B Content Marketing:
2013 benchmarks, budgets and trends – UK
Content is at the heart of driving audience engagement,
interaction and leads. It is the medium through which
we mix audience needs with supplier solutions to present
value-added information for prospects and customers.
What is content marketing?
The strategic application of the right message and the
right format at the right stage in the buyer journey
TI C I PATI O
The copy that goes into outbound marketing,
emails, brochures etc
An efficient use of budget for content creation by applying
the same content to multiple stages of the buyer journey
A tactic to publish more content
A strategy for communicating our messages in context
of what the customer wants to hear
What is it not?
More content, costing more money
Source: VC2+, 2013
Content marketing is not simply writing a
It is a process and a strategy, beginning with
understanding the audience, developing a
catalogue of content that is relevant to them,
delivering it in a form that it is appropriate and
easy to digest, then making it easy to find.
The aim is to remove barriers between target
customers and the brand.
The Content Marketing Institute (2013) describes
content marketing as ‘non-interruption
marketing’. Think of it as a new way of
marketing; showing prospects and customers
that we see the world through their eyes,
we understand the challenges they face and
we have the solution.
A meaningful content strategy should overlay onto
a demand generation strategy in order to achieve real
results that contribute to sales. A simple but effective way
to segment content streams is to map it to the buyer journey.
The aim of content marketing is to engage the
audience and influence their progress to the
next stage of the buying journey.
Buyers will engage with different types and formats
of content at varying stages in this journey.
By understanding the stage they are at we can
provide relevant, high-value content which further
deepens engagement and generates better
qualified, warm leads.
The customer journey outlines the phases a buyer
will take prior to sale.
Typically in B2B environments this begins either by
a brand suggesting the need for change or by the
prospect having identified a business need,
problem or potential improvement
You may also
The most compelling way to achieve ‘loosening
of the status quo’ is to educate people on
something they did not know about their business
or their industry
Content should then seek to progress buyers
through subsequent stages towards sale
n average, B2B buyers are 67% through this
process before seeking interaction with a company
The potential buyer has a problem but is not yet
entirely aware of what the problem is or how it
could be resolved.
Content is delivered to help the audience pinpoint their problems through being helpful and
informative. Although branding is less important at this stage, content should aim to position the
company as an industry thought leader. We want to drive the consumer to seek further information.
The potential buyer is accepting the need to
resolve the problems that have been identified.
At this stage the role of content is to offer relevant solutions to these problems.
Done well, content can drive urgency and accelerate the buying process.
The buyer is becoming aware of their options
to solve the problem they face. They begin to
evaluate their alternatives and are actively
seeking information to find the best solution.
The buyer is now being more proactive about finding information relevant to their problem.
At this stage we want to be delivering content that helps the buyer to understand what they are
seeking in a solution. Explain the exact requirements of the right solution and how will this
address the various challenges they are currently faced with.
to a solution
The buyer has become educated about their
problem and the various solutions available and
commits to taking action.
As we learn more about the needs of this potential buyer, through analysing which content
they consume, the content we provide can become increasingly specific to their requirements.
At this point, we can begin to align our particular solutions and exemplify the superiority of our
solutions in solving the buyer’s specific problem.
The buyer is now close to purchase, ensuring
the solution they are deciding upon is the right one.
The role of content is to now to remind the buyer why this purchase is a smart and valuable
The buyer is now poised to purchase from
We now have a lot of information about this buyer and can utilise content to prove the value of
our solutions and reassure them of their choice. Once the buyer has made a purchase, this is not
the end of the content journey. To maximise the chance of repeat purchase, cross purchasing
and recommending the company to others, a content strategy needs to continue post purchase.
The role of content post purchase is aimed at adding value for the client, as well as recognising
other problems they may face and beginning the journey again.
Who we are
Not only job title, but
what challenges are they
facing that we can help
Content is only good if it’s consumed and it causes
the target to take action. What makes the same piece
of content interesting to one party and not to another
is subjective, but here are a few guidelines for giving
our content a chance to engage the right targets:
What type of
content will our
Busy CIOs will prefer
bite-size video and blogs
than a technical
the network admin
Reach the prospect
at the right point in
their buyer journey,
or help them to
begin a buying
journey and we
invite them to
competition – our
they already know.
So what? Does
your content add
anything to our
Is it of real consequence
to them, or is it content
we want them to
Just because we
want to say it,
doesn’t mean our
target wants to
Resist the urge to ‘sell’
in value-added content.
If your wife, or
If you can tell people
they will come back
Match the right content to your
audience’s needs to drive engagement.
Consider too the full range of content formats to keep your prospect or target interested – test new formats to learn what drives
engagement and clicks, then build it in to programmes. The most commonly used content formats in B2B marketing are shown below.
Content with the best ROI according to
marketing professionals Worlwide, Jan 2013
eMarketer report on content with the best ROI by CopyPress, January 2013
Print News Letters
Branded Content Tools
Articles on other Websites
Social Media – Other than blogs
Motion Graphics 11.3%
Articles on your website
Buyers guides 21.6%
Content marketing usage in the UK (by tactic)
Content Marketing Institute, B2B Content Marketing: 2013 benchmarks, budgets and trends – UK
Content is hugely influential in inbound marketing
for adding fresh, self-selected contacts to your nurture
database. They must be sufficiently motivated by
your content to reveal their identity – below are tips
for making content count.
Branded or unbranded?
Gated or ungated?
Long or short?
One click conversion or journey?
If there is resistance or barriers to acceptance
for your brand in the market, then consider
keeping your content unbranded. Allow it
instead to do its work in engaging
consumers and enticing them to engage on
their own terms. Include multiple pathways
the user can take to encourage them to
continue their journey towards your brand.
Be selective about when to ask for a new
target’s details. At the first clickthrough to
your site, asking for a registration is likely to
halt the journey there and then. Make an
informed decision on how much dwell time
and exploration you can allow on your web
pages before presenting a registration page
to access gated material.
Both can work well to drive engagement.
The main consideration is to keep the
appeal of the content as broad as possible
whilst keeping it relevant. Short content
including blogs, video, images, cartoons
and infographics is effective at attracting
new users or driving early. Longer content,
such as a definitive report, can increase
dwell time on your site and it can drive
conversion if the value of the content is
deemed to be worth it.
Our content is designed to drive sales,
but the speed of engagement varies.
Driving registrations with a single click,
requires a ’honeypot’ approach where
content looks attractive and unique. Once
hooked, ensure visitors can access deeper
content. Very specific content however for
tightly defined, high value targets should
not require more than one click to convert –
if it’s designed for a specific segment,
either they want it, or they don’t.
Chief Technology and Information
Officers are over-marketed to
The technology industry is renowned for
bombarding prospects with marketing and
sales material. The people you’re trying to
reach are tuning out. To cut through the
noise, prospects need to be spoken to on
their terms, not yours.
It’s not always easy to
identify the target audience
Thanks to the complex distribution channels
tech marketers face, it’s hard to identify a
target audience, let alone reach them. The
right content in the right places helps
prospects to find you. Doesn’t that sound
easier than pushing out generic sales
materials for little return? The engagement
level of audiences generated through
content is higher, enhancing sales
Better quality leads
Enticing prospects to self-select their
association with a brand helps to separate
‘tire kickers’ from real prospect customers;
shortening the sale cycle. The added bonus
is having the sales team love you for giving
them better quality leads.
It makes sense to talk to prospects
in their language
It enhances current
and removes barriers to sale
Don’t worry, we’re not asking you to throw
all your current marketing efforts out the
window. Content marketing is a strategy
that enhances current sales and marketing
efforts. You’d be surprised how much
content you already have that can be
repurposed and reallocated to the
appropriate stage of the buyer journey.
Content that is accessible and relevant to
buyers in active buying stages creates a
significant competitive advantage. Optimised
content will enhance search visibility and
quality, making you easier to find and
providing access to fresh audiences.
As marketers, we love our brands.
We love talking about our brands.
Opportunity to cross-sell
Is telling a prospect how wonderful our
brand is useful to them? Probably not. They
are more interested in learning about, and
finding solutions to, their problems. A
customer-centric approach to marketing
puts every piece of information and how it
is delivered to audiences in the context of a
journey; making it more relevant to more
people, more of the time.
Make your marketing budget go further!
The right content can be applied to
customer communications to show
them what else you have to offer and
influence brand perceptions. Continuing
post-sale dialogue with customers adds
value, reminds them why they chose
the brand and presents opportunities
for even more sales.
Know their needs
and how they want
to consume content.
to the audience and
their stage in the
of tone and
involves more than
just the message.
don’t send mixed
messages. Do use
content to enhance
allowing the audience
to respond to content
ensure your content
can be found easily,
if online, make it
prominent on your
and extend reach
using social media.
don’t just provide
statements, give the
examples to prove
your message and
bring it to life.
should be so
engaging that people
want to share it with
others, so make it
easy to do so.
About Ledger Bennett DGA
Telephone: +44 (0)8458 383883
Ledger Bennett DGA
Tungsten House, Warren Road
Little Horwood, Milton Keynes
Ledger Bennett DGA
1st Floor Centric House
390-391 Strand, London
We are a B2B Demand Generation agency that uses
sales and marketing know-how to help customers
increase revenue by deploying Inbound Marketing,
Content Marketing and Marketing Automation
strategies. Our highly focused Demand Generation
programmes drive our customers’ business
performance, helping them to:
n Generate more opportunity
n Convert that opportunity into sales
n Retain customers and grow their value
Using more measurable and cost effective
techniques than traditional full service marketing
agencies we are able to maximise business revenue
in the modern world where the internet has
fundamentally changed the behaviour of the buyer.